Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Garth Brooks, “Somewhere Other Than the Night”

“Somewhere Other Than the Night”

Garth Brooks

Written by Kent Blazy and Garth Brooks

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

January 16, 1993

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

January 8, 1993

The biggest star of the nineties has the first No. 1 single of 1993.

The Road to No. 1

After topping the charts with “The River,” the final single from Ropin’ the Wind, Garth released “We Shall Be Free,” the lead single from his fourth studio album, The Chase.  It became his lowest-charting single to date, but the album sold well throughout the holiday season and the second single brought him back to No. 1.

The No. 1

So this is one of the best songs that Garth Brooks has ever written.

It’s a powerful storyline about a farmer and his wife rekindling their marriage on a rainy day, with vivid details leading to strong characterization.   We get an intimate look at both the husband and wife, the former feeling frustrated by the challenges of his work, and the latter feeling overlooked and only needed by him when the lights go down. Garth can actually write believable women into his songs, which is a rare feat for male country artists these days.

The only thing holding the record back from a perfect grade is his vocal.  This is where we start to hear that odd operatic approach to ballads, and after all these years, it’s still just as off-putting.  He just sounds better when he leans into his twang.

The Road From No. 1

This kicks off another lengthy run of consecutive No. 1 singles for Garth, so we’ll see him a lot more this year than we did in 1992.

“Somewhere Other Than the Night” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Vince Gill, “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away” |

Next: Randy Travis, “Look Heart, No Hands”

 

4 Comments

  1. The Chase had some of my favorite less well remembered Garth songs. This and “Learning To Live Again” are so good.

  2. The Chase is my favorite Garth album, Andrew. “Learning to Live Again” is one of my favorites too.

    I think I agree that his vocals holds this song back from full greatness, but I still love the song.

  3. This is actually one of my all time favorite ballads from Garth (along with “Learning To Live Again,” as Andrew mentioned). I’m normally not as big of a fan of Garth’s less twangy, operatic approach to some of his later ballads, but on this particular song, it’s somehow always worked for me. I actually remember not even recognizing that it was Garth the first few times I heard it, and being surprised to find out it was. I even remember my mom, who was otherwise never a big of a fan of Garth’s singing, making a comment one time when the song was playing in the car that she actually liked how he sounded on this song. Once I got past his unusual at the time vocal style, it really got to be another one of my favorites of his, and now, I actually think his delivery compliments the lyrics and melody pretty well.

    Vocals aside, I really love how the lyrics to this song play out like a mini movie. I’ve especially always liked the second verse where they “Spent the day wrapped up in a blanket on the front porch swing.” And once again, it’s so nice to hear an older song like this that actually goes into great detail and talks about real people with real life problems, unlike so much of modern country. Sadly, I just can’t imagine a song like this being a hit on country radio today, especially from a male artist. As Kevin mentions, it seems almost like a foreign concept now for a mainstream male country artist to sing and/or write a song this sensitive and understanding of the female character in the song.

    And finally, I’ve always loved the really beautiful melody in this song, along with Bruce Bouton’s steel playing during the intro and after the first chorus.

    Funny how this and Vince’s “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away” were back to back number ones, because those are the first two songs on one of the colorful My First Sony tapes that I recorded from the radio in early ’93. Garth kicks it off with Vince following, and on the same side after that it’s “Down Home” by Alabama, “She Is His Only Need” by Wynonna, “She’s Got The Rhythm (And I Got The Blues) by Alan Jackson, “Nobody Falls Like A Fool” by Earl Thomas Conley, “Brother Jukebox” by Mark Chesnutt, and “Love Without Mercy” by Lee Roy Parnell.

    On a last quick note, I was recently watching a video of co-writer Kent Blazy talking about him and Garth writing this song together, and he made a little joke that they decided to include the word “damn” twice in the first verse to “get back” at the one station who refused to play “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” because of that word. lol!

  4. Brooks doesn’t get the recognition he deserves as a classic balladeer or troubadour. He has an amazing body of wonderful story songs, with well drawn, relatable characters in complex, mature situations.

    I have come to accept the odd vocal explorations as just part of the Garth package. I think the emerging operatic style suits the big-ness of this song. Only Garth could get away with this.

    I would amend Kevin’s qualified statement that this is one of Brooks’ best written songs and simply celebrate it as one of his greatest recordings. Full stop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.